HOBOKEN, NJ (December 30, 2022) -- The seventh ranked University of Scranton women's basketball team took home the championship at the Stevens Holiday Tournament with a 68-59 win over No. 19 Tufts at Canavan Arena on Friday evening.
With the win, head coach Ben O'Brien's squad moves to a perfect 12-0 on the season and earn their second win over a Top 25 team this year, having previously beaten No. 14 Ithaca (Nov. 29).
Senior guard Hannah Angelini (Baldwin Place, N.Y. / Somers) had the hot hand for Scranton to start the game, scoring 11 of the Lady Royals' 21 points in the opening quarter. The Baldwin Place, N.Y. native scored the final five points of the first period to give Scranton a 21-17 lead headed into the second quarter.
Scranton stretched its lead to 10 points after a 6-0 run to start the second period. The Jumbos battled back in the late stages of the opening half and managed to hold the Royals scoreless in the final four minutes while going on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 32-31 at halftime.
After a quiet first half, graduate student Sam Rajza (Plains, Pa. / Holy Redeemer) found her rhythm to start the second half with seven straight points including a three-pointer at the 7:49 mark. Following a pair of free throws from Rajza, Scranton regained a 10 point lead with 6:48 remaining in the third period.
The Jumbos continued to fight back in the third period and were able to get within one as Scranton led 49-48 headed into the fourth quarter.
Rajza drilled a three to open up the final period and freshman forward Kaci Kranson (Scranton, Pa. / Holy Cross) added a pair of buckets to help Scranton regain an eight point cushion with just over eight minutes remaining in the game.
Tufts searched for an answer later in the fourth quarter but weren't able to get within six points of Scranton as the Lady Royals continued to hit clutch shots and make their free throws to secure the win in a 68-59 final.
Kranson scored a team-high 18 points and added 7 rebounds and earned tournament MVP honors. Angelini finished with a season-high 15 points and 7 boards while Rajza also finished in double figures with 13 points for the Lady Royals. Maggie Russell of Tufts led all scorers with 24 points on the night. Scranton won the battle on the glass with 45 rebounds to Tufts' 38.
The women's basketball team returns to action next Saturday when they head to Catholic for a Landmark Conference clash at 2:00 PM in Washington, D.C.